‘Thinking With the Past’ Lecture at Penn to Look at ‘The People and the Book’

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Media Contact:Jacquie Posey | jposey@upenn.edu | 215-898-6460March 22, 2012

WHO:           Speaker: David B. Ruderman, Joseph Meyerhoff Professor of Jewish History, University of Pennsylvania

Introduced by Arthur Kiron, Schottenstein-Jesselson Curator of Judaica                       Collections, Van Pelt Library,  and director of the Herbert D. Katz Center for                      Advanced Judaic Studies Library

WHAT:           “Thinking With the Past,” History Department lecture

WHEN:           Wednesday, March 28, 5 p.m.


WHERE:         Annenberg School for Communication, Room 110, 3620 Walnut St.                                               

Like other European communities, Jews were profoundly affected by the invention of print in the 15th century and eagerly and swiftly embraced the printed press in publishing numerous Hebrew, Yiddish and Ladino books in subsequent centuries.  David Ruderman's lecture will describe the transformation of Jewish culture in early modern Europe through the discovery of print, looking at the changing ways Jews acquired knowledge, studied and transmitted their cultural legacy and expanded their cultural horizons in significant ways. The lecture will focus, by way of illustration, on four significant Hebrew books that profoundly affected Jewish readers for centuries.

Ruderman is the author of numerous books and articles, most recently the 2010 Early Modern Jewry: A New Cultural History which, along with two of his other books, won national book awards in Jewish history.  Ruderman is a past president of the American Academy for Jewish Research.  In 2001, the National Foundation for Jewish Culture honored him with its lifetime achievement award for his work in Jewish history.

A book signing will follow the event, which is free and open to the public. Additional information is available from Nari Baughman at nlinette@sas.upenn.edu or at http://www.history.upenn.edu.